"Because now, you no longer have to wait for motor trouble to increase your motor sales."
Anyone know when GE's patent expires on their ECM motor design??? I think they first rolled them out around '96. I remember being an intern at GE Motors and Industrial Controls in Fort Wayne and another intern showed me this cool new DC motor that didn't need a commutator that had a couple capacitors and circuit boards in the end shield where the brushes usually are. If they went to production in '96, the patent should have been filed a few years earlier. I'd expect it to be expiring in the next 3-5 years.
Once the patent expires, I'd expect that the price of these motors should go down by 20-30%... hopefully they will replace PSC's in all but builder grade junk.
UPDATE: the quick search I did showed the patent expired in 2003. But that may just be for the one application listed. They may have multiple patentsm one for each application.